In a nutshell: An iconic Californian Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the renowned Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
The lowdown: The FAY vineyard was first planted in 1961 by the pioneering Nathan Fay and was the first planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in the Stag's Leap District. At the time it was thought the area was too cold for Cab Sav but a tasting of the wine in 1969 showed how wrong that line of thought was. One of the most famous and acclaimed vineyards in all of Napa FAY lies adjacent to S.L.V. (Stag's Leap Vineyard) yet sits on more alluvial soils and so produces a different style of Cabernet with loads of supple red and black fruit flavours.
Aromas of ripe berries, figs, plums, candied cherries and touches of jasmine lead onto an elegant, full and long palate. Richness and depth pair beautifully with just enough freshness and a finish that just keeps on going.
94/100 - Wine Advocate, 94/100 - Decanter
When to drink: Drink from now for another 20 years.
Notable as the Californian winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition known as the Judgment of Paris, thus placing them ahead of the best Bordeaux had to offer, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars have since been considered as Napa Valley's 'First Growth' estate.
The winery itself is situated in Silverado in the heart of the Napa Valley north of San Francisco and their vineyards are in, what is known today as, the Stag's Leap District Appellation. Their most famous wine is 'Cask 23' which is made only select vintages and fetches quite eye watering prices which makes their 'First Growth' moniker quite appropriate.
The winery was founded by Warren Winiarski in 1972 after he had learned his trade under Robert Mondavi and success soon followed with the 1976 Paris tasting. In the intervening years ownership has passed to a joint venture between Chateau Ste Michelle and Tuscany's Marchesi Antinori.
The estate's winemaker since 2013 has been Marcus Notaro who, prior to moving to Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, made a name for himself at Col Solare in washington State. Having been at Stag's Leap for several years Marcus understands the winemaking philosophy here very well and it was his ability to express both the terroir and varietal character of the grapes that makes him well suited to keeping Stag's Leap Wine Cellars at the forefront of Californian winemaking.